In Buster Olney’s latest blog post over at ESPN.com, he checks in with his thoughts on the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes. I won’t get into what he said about the other teams, just what he said about the Red Sox.
If the Red Sox were to sign Teixeira, they would have a glut of slugger/corner guys, with Kevin Youkilis, Lowell, Ortiz and Teixeira; if the Red Sox were to sign Teixeira, Boston might move Youkilis to left, Jason Bay to right field and J.D. Drew to center, with Jacoby Ellsbury working into the rotation in the way that Coco Crisp did in 2008, through injury and planned rest.
Remember this, too: Epstein really covets high on-base percentage guys, even if it means working in the face of conventional wisdom. The baseball industry was very down on Drew, but Epstein valued him for his ability as a professional hitter and signed him to a five-year deal. Twenty months ago, he went to the verge of completing a trade for Todd Helton — a player who, in his prime, was very much like Teixeira.
I really don’t see the Red Sox taking Jacoby Ellsbury out of the outfield and out of the lineup at all especially when you’ve heard Terry Francona’s comments all season long about the impact of Ellsbury at the top of the lineup. Ellsbury is the type of player who needs to play everyday and not be put into a rotation. The league adjusted to Ellsbury and I’m sure he’ll be working on that during the offseason.
To me the best move IF they did acquire Teixeira would be to move Lowell to another team. Don’t get me wrong, I like Lowell a lot. He brings the intangibles to the team but if you have a chance to get better you have to do take that chance.
Editor’s note: The link to Olney’s column is for ESPN insiders. If the link I provided didn’t work, you can click here for the PDF of the page.